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Western Australia: Two elections for the price of two

Cook, I. (2013) Western Australia: Two elections for the price of two. The Conversation, 4 February .

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If the thought of one election campaign is your worst nightmare, then pity the West Australians. When Julia Gillard announced a September federal election it meant two campaigns being run simultaneously in the country’s largest state.

It’s Labor versus the Liberals and Nationals, of course, so the names remain the same. But that may be the problem. It’s never been that easy to separate state and federal election issues and it’s going to get a lot harder for West Australians.

There are some clear “state” issues like whether Colin Barnett’s Liberal government will be tougher on crime than Mark McGowan’s Labor claims it will be. Law and order is “bread and butter” in a state election campaign.

And states' rights isn’t something that will play out at a federal level, though Tony Abbott may express some level of support for a devolution of power from Canberra, a move that would aid his state Liberal colleague in Barnett given the level of dissatisfaction in WA with how GST revenue is distributed by Canberra.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Management and Governance
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
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